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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Donkey Kong Country 2 Revisited (Part I)

Artwork for Gangplank Galleon

Over the past few weeks, I randomly started listening to Donkey Kong Country music. A few months ago, I played through the original Donkey Kong Country in its entirety on the Virtual Console (I own the original but didn't have access to it at college). While it was still fun, part of my enjoyment was hampered by the delay between my Wii and the TV, so I was discouraged from buying the latter two games in the series. This weekend, I decided to play Donkey Kong Country 2, what I consider to be the best game in the series. It has superior gameplay, music, plot, and difficulty when compared to the other two games, and was a huge part of my childhood. For the longest time, my brothers and I struggled to beat the game. We got stuck in two different levels in Krazy Kremland and could only dream of the day we'd finally make it to the later levels. With only images in a crappy unofficial guide showing us what the rest of the game was like, it was a long time before we finally made it to the end of the game. It had been many years since I last played and while the original intention was for me to just play random fun levels, I ended up playing every level through K. Rool's Keep, and my opinion of certain levels have changed. I'm just going to break down my opinions level by level.

World 1: Gangplank Galleon
Gangplank Galleon was K. Rool's ship from the first game and has since run aground (as said in the instruction manual). One thing about this game that I loved was its sense of irony: A King had a pirate ship in the first game, and the Kaptain has a Castle in this game. Anyhoo, this is one of those first worlds that is permanently ingrained into my brain.

Level 1: Pirate Panic
The good old first level. The music mirrors that of Jungle Hijinx from the first game in the fact that both start off with mostly environmental sounds before beginning the actual song, giving a subtle nod to the predecessor. The level is fairly short and easy, of course and introduces Dixie Kong for the first time. To quickly back up here, in the original DKC, I ALWAYS played as Diddy. His maneuverability and speed made him far more fun than Donkey (and is also something that is sorely lacking in DKCR). However, in DKC2, I ALWAYS played as Dixie. Simply put, Helicopter Hair makes her the best out of all Kongs. However, when I was a kid, I never used Diddy's Cartwheel attack, let alone the cartwheel jump. Replaying this game with that knowledge, I definitely used Diddy way more than I ever did before. However, I still prefer Dixie.

Anyhoo, I didn't play much of this level because I had recently learned of the existence of warp barrels in all of the levels of the first two worlds in both DKC2 and DKC3. Just proves that these games still had secrets for me to learn after all these years. Naturally, I warped to the end of the levels where I could remember the warps. This was one of those levels.

FYI, as a kid, my brothers and I always used the Kremcoin code in this stage (look it up if you don't know it) so I have never found all of the bonus rooms in the game.

Level 2: Mainbrace Mayhem
The first of the sail levels and the only one with bright and clear skies. I've always loved this environment, and I really don't know why. Maybe because there is no obvious comparison to the original games and is unique. I don't have much to say in these early levels, so...

Level 3: Gangplank Galley
For some reason, I always confuse this stage and the first level. I always seem to think this is the level with Rambi, but it isn't. Speaking of Rambi, he's so awesome both in the first game and in this one. Stupid Ellie the Elephant, taking his place in the third game.

Level 4: Lockjaw's Locker
As a kid, I always loved water levels. They seemed so cool, and I don't know why. Hydro City Zone, this level, and some of the Mario 3 ones were some of my favorites. And then, Mario 64 came out and this thing called "oxygen" suddenly became required for video game characters. Sure, Sonic needed oxygen, but in Sonic 3, bubble shields fixed that problem. Anyhoo, as much as I liked this flood ship environment, I used the warp barrel to speed to the end.

Level 5: Topsail Trouble
Back up to the sails, but now, the storm has started. Here, we get introduced to Rattly, who quite frankly kicks ass. However, his only flaw is that half of the time when you jump, you can no longer see the platforms below you, which becomes a huge pain in the ass in a certain later level involving a certain rising green liquid.

Interesting to note here, in my old unofficial player's guide, there's a single screenshot of this level with a black and blue background, like a night storm. I can match up the parts and say it is in this level, but I've never seen that background here. Can anybody enlighten me on this?

Boss: Krow's Nest
This is one of those odd situations where I did worse now than as a kid. I actually died on Krow this time around, although it's not entirely my fault. I can't remember my first hit against me, but I believe it was due to myself temporarily spacing out. However, for the second hit, something weird happened. When eggs start spewing out of the nest at the end of the fight, one of the eggs didn't fly up before coming at me, and hit where I was going AND fell at double the speed. I'd never seen that before, and I doubt I'll see it again.

That's all I've got for now. Stay tuned for Part II: Crocodile Cauldron!

1 comment:

  1. donkey kong 2 é o melhor , music, senário, tudo perfeito